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Liberal Party

Liberal Party Australian political party. It was formed (1913) in opposition to the Labor Party. In 1944, Robert Menzies created a new Liberal Party from the remains of the United Australia Party. In 1949, Menzies became prime minister of a Liberal-Country coalition government. In 1966 Harold Holt succeeded Menzies as prime minister and leader of the Liberal Party. The Liberals returned to office under John Gorton (1968–71) and William McMahon (1971–72). In 1975, Malcolm Fraser defeated Gough Whitlam to become prime minister (1975–83). In 1996, after five successive Labor governments, the Liberal Party regained power under John Howard.

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